Quick Cryptic No 384 by Corelli – or maybe not so quick

Posted on Categories Quick Cryptic
I did this immediately after a main TC puzzle and I have to say it wasn’t the easy 5 minute write-in these things used to be; like last Friday’s, it seemed to have a good few clues which needed checkers or were up to the level of the main puzzle. So I hope those who are hoping to move from the blue runs to the red found it a good test. As usual there are no weird words or obscure general knowledge required, just some imaginative wordplay and six anagrams to unravel.

1 UP AGAINST IT – An assembly clue. U (university); PA; GAINS (gets) TIT (bird); def. struggling.
9 OP ART – O (love) PART (separate, as verb); def. style of painting.
10 AIMLESS – (A SMILE’S)*, anagrind ‘spreading’, def. without end.
11 POLKA DOTS – It seems easy in retrospect, but I have to admit this was my LOI when I had all the checkers and the P-L-A penny dropped. POLKA is the lively dance, then insert T (that’s, initially) into DOS = parties. Def. features of pattern.
13 THO – Last letters (tails) of caT eacH kangaroO, def. all the same, abbr. for THOUGH.
14 NINETY – Hidden word reversed in everY TEN INtegers, def, number.
16 MALAWI – Insert LAW (ordinance) into MAI(N) = chief, mostly; def. African country.
17 MET – Double definition.
18 REPLENISH – (HELEN RIPS)*, anagrind ‘agitated’, def. top up.
21 KRISHNA – (IN SHARK)*, anagrind ‘fantastically’, def. deity, the top Hindu God.
23 LUPIN – LU sounds like LOO = ladies (toilet), then PIN = fasten, def. flower.
24 PERSIAN GULF – (PAT REFUSING)*, anagrind ‘to travel around’, def. ME region.

2 PEARL – P (piano) EARL (peer); def. gem. I wondered if a pearl is a gem, but Wiki says it’s an ‘organic gem’.
3 GET CARTER – Insert ETC (‘features in’) into GARTER (band); def. Michael Caine film. I’ve never knowingly seen it as I find MC one of the worst actors in the history of acting; but he’s rich, successful, a Sir, and has made over 115 films, so I must be in a small minority and am probably soon to receive a nasty letter from Sue, Grabbit & Run.
4 IMAGO – I’M = the writer’s (short for ‘the writer is); AGO = in the past; def. perfect stage, the last development stage in an insect’s life.
5 SUM – SUMO wrestling not finished; def. problem.
6 ICED TEA – (I ACTED E)*, anagrind ‘strangely’, the E from energy; def. drink.
7 GO UP IN SMOKE – GO UP = mount, IN = home, SMOKE = cure, perhaps; def. fail disastrously.
8 ASTONISHING – (NOTHING IS AS)*, anagrind ‘extraordinary’, def. amazing. Nice brief surface for the anagram. Probably a chestnut but I don’t remember seeing it before.
12 SHAKE A LEG – SHAKE (brandish) ALE (beer) G (mug, finally); def. step on it.
15 NITRIDE – NIT = fool, RIDE = trip; def. compound. It could have been NITRITE or NITRILE which are also nitrogen compounds, but RILE and RITE don’t mean trip. A nitride is a compound where nitrogen has a formal oxidation state of −3, for example BN, boron nitride. Ah, we just love these chemistry lectures, I hear you sigh.
19 PLAZA – PLA(Y) = mostly perform, Z = jazz finally, on A, def. public square.
20 IMPEL – I.E. (that is) L (Liberal) around MP (politician; def. force.
22 HIS – HI = greeting, S = son; def. man’s.

13 comments on “Quick Cryptic No 384 by Corelli – or maybe not so quick”

  1. DNF here; GET CARTER not being part of my GK, although in retrospect I should have spotted the ETC. I gather that Sue, Grabbit, & Run have taken over from Dewey, Cheatham, & Howe?
  2. I agree this wasn’t easy but I can’t offer a solving time for comparison as I fell asleep, probably because I got stuck more than once – and in fact I probably nodded off more than once too. I know the African country and the ME region were amongst the answers that presented problems, but vague definitions relating to geography don’t exactly invite biffing which is often the way to a speedy solve.
  3. 10 minutes, so pretty average, I’d say, so long as you know the Caine vehicle. PERSIAN GULF is particularly cunning given that it’s not archetypal middle-east. More ‘near east’ – confusingly, since it’s further away from Europe – in the old money, anyway. I was thinking of something NILE until the available anagram fodder ruled that out.
  4. Thought I had completed this correctly but I had put in NITRITE.

    I remember first seeing GET CARTER(an uncut version) in the early 70’s in my school’s sixth form film club.

    Last in HIS after I corrected the spelling of KRISHNA. Favourite PERSIAN GULF.

  5. A bit faster than average at under 7 mins for me as nothing held me up – I parked the long ones until I got some checkers. I got the Michael Caine film straight away as I’ve seen it a few times. There is an american remake made in 2000 starring Sylvester Stallone as Jack, but with Michael Caine in it too. Rotten tomatoes says “A remake that doesn’t approach the standard of the original, Get Carter will likely leave viewers confused and unsatisfied. Also, reviews are mixed concerning Stallone’s acting.” Hmm.
  6. Cobham to Vauxhall this morning with the last one going in as I went down the stairs to the exit so 30 mins with a few emails for distractions which is slower than my average of Cobham to Wimbledon this week…

    Also very irriatated to see I had inexplicably invented a new compound having had fool = nut instead of nit.

    An error both my grandmother (who’s favourite word for fool remains nit) and my chemistry teacher would have been ashamed at for very different reasons.

    Apologies Mrs H and Mrs B respectively.

  7. I’m beginning to think I’m not as well read as I thought. Ibo yesterday, which is apparently common crossword fodder, and Imago today, are both weird words in my book. I got yesterday’s from the cluing, but the wording of 4d left me a DNF today. Invariant
  8. I found this a bit fiddly and would probably have really struggled without all the anagrams to provide checkers. I hadn’t heard of 9a and guessed Ob Art which, with hindsight, makes absolutely no sense.
    For some reason I’m left feeling slightly underwhelmed by this puzzle.
  9. I didn’t find this too hard… LOI was GET CARTER… was thinking GET SHORTY because I haven’t seen either…

    Clean sweep this week except for messing up IBO yesterday. Maybe I’ll move onto the the main puzzle. Though, technically I do have better things to do than spend hours on crosswords, so not sure if this is a good idea!

  10. I’ve just found your site. Most useful for me, a newbie. But Anagrind is a new word for me and it’s not in my Chamber’s 21st Century Dictionary. Can you define it, please, and suggest its pronunciation? And apart from a bra size, what does DD mean – Dictionary Definition? Thanks!

    Ian Donaldson

    1. Hi Ian,

      Anagrind is short for “Anagram Indicator”, so words such as “confused” or in this case “agitated” or “to travel” that indicate an anagram (or part anagram is present), i.e. that some letters need to be moved around.

      You also see Anagrist which refers to the letters making up the anagram.

      DD stands for Double Definition, so in this case “Came up against” gives you Met and “London Police” gives you MET. Two routes to the same answer.

      Hope that helps!

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